Indya Moore, Angelica Ross and Gabrielle Union support campaign to end genital surgeries on intersex children

Trans non-binary model Indya Moore. (Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)

Indya Moore, Angelica Ross and Gabrielle Union have lent their voices to a petition calling for an end to intersex surgeries at a Chicago children’s hospital.

Intersex activists and allies have been protesting against so-called ‘corrective’ or ‘normalising’ genital surgeries at the Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for the past three years. Yet its doctors continue to perform the unnecessary procedures to make children conform to gendered social norms.

On Sunday (July 12) Indya Moore took the hospital to task for using the images of queer performers, including Euphoria’s Hunter Schafer, Legendary’s Jameela Jamil, and Pose’s Angelica Ross, to promote its solidarity with the LGBT+ community.

“Hey loves,” they tweeted, “@lurieadolescentmed on Instagram is using your images to express solidarity with LGBTQIA people [while] also mutilating intersex babies and silencing calls for them to stop.

“Tell them you cannot stand WITH trans people and step ON intersex people!”

Jamil thanked Moore for the “heads up” on the campaign. Ross also thanked Moore for letting her know, and she and Gabrielle Union both tweeted the petition to end intersex surgeries at the hospital.

Their backing led to a surge in signatures, rising from 37,000 on Friday (July 17) to nearly 40,500 just 24 hours later.

Lurie is not the only hospital to perform children’s intersex surgeries, such as clitoral reductions, castration, and vaginoplasties, but it’s one of the most widely known within the LGBT+ community.

It is estimated that 1.7 per cent of the population is born with sex characteristics that differ from social expectations of ‘female’ or ‘male’, a figure that makes intersex people around as common as twins or people with red hair.

The intersex community has long called for an end to the practise, pointing out that the biological sex created for them at birth doesn’t always correspond with their gender identity later in life. The high-risk surgeries can also lead to painful physical problems.

The United Nations has condemned these “genital mutilations” at least 40 times since 2011, but only a handful of countries have issued an outright ban, including Albania, the island of Malta and the Indian state of Kerala.